As it’s New Years Eve I wanted to share one of the most inspirational stories I’ve read recently from my favourite book of all time: Dale Carnegie’s masterpiece, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’

‘A member of one of our classes told of a request made by his wife. She and a group of other women in her church were involved in a self-improvement programme. She asked her husband to help her by listing six things he believed she could do to help her become a better wife. He reported to the class: ‘I was surprised by such a request. Frankly, it would have been easy for me to list six things I would change about her – my heavens, she could have listed a thousand things she would like to change about me – but I didn’t. I said to her, ‘let me think about it and give you an answer in the morning.’

‘The next morning I got up very early and called the florist and had them send six red roses to my wife with a note saying: ‘I can’t think of six things I would like to change about you. I love you the way you are.’

‘When I arrived home that evening, who do you think greeted me at the door: That’s right. My wife! She was almost in tears. Needless to say, I was extremely glad I had not criticised her as she requested.’

‘The following Sunday at church, after she had reported the results of her assignment, several women with whom she had been studying came up to me and said, ‘that was the most considerate thing I have ever heard.’ It was then I realised the power of appreciation.’

The book is full of these examples, I have read it many times and yet I am still terrible at a lot of the lessons I should have learnt. I do try and improve every day though, and really that is all you can do – improve a little bit every day and be grateful for everything and everyone you have. As long as I try and keep doing that in 2017 I’m sure it will be a really great year.

Happy New Year to you all,

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